Private Flying LAA/BMAA/BGA/BPA The sheer pleasure of flight.

Power Checks

Reply

Old 4th Jul 2018, 11:12
  #1 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Do I come here often?
Posts: 763
Power Checks

As a young lad I was taught to do my power checks at the hold, and that is still where I tend to do them (or a run-up area if marked) Recently I've seen pilots carrying out power checks on the ramp, at a fly-in I attended at the weekend I watched a 182 doing power checks in the parking area, blowing a mocrolight behind him about, until the AFISO on duty told him to stop and do his checks in the correct place.

Has the lesson on power checks changed? or am I seeing an decrease in common sense and airmanship?

I'm glad I wasn't behind the 182 as my puddle jumper would possibly have got airborne in that breeze.

I welcome opinions on this as the potential for damage to aircraft parked behind is quite large.

SND
Sir Niall Dementia is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 4th Jul 2018, 11:34
  #2 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Glasgow
Age: 28
Posts: 120
I fly out of a big airport so it's never much of a worry for me but I'll generally taxi to the hold and park to the side, into the wind. Having said that, I was recently at a small grass airstrip, much less free room around so I did them from my parked position which had a clear area behind.
IMO it doesn't have to be in a designated place as long as common sense and situational awareness is applied.
gordonquinn is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 4th Jul 2018, 11:38
  #3 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: EGPX FIR
Posts: 116
Nope, the lesson hasn't changed, and the first item on my checklist prior to the run-up after applying brakes is "Position into wind, check clear behind".

Poor airmanship is everywhere, from flying through well-used instrument approaches without talking to anyone (apparently "OK as I'm in Class G"), piss-poor RT (umm, err, umm, hang on, err, not sure what I'm doing, err...), transmitting over each other, etc.

I was taught to do checks at the hold unless that causes delay to other traffic, in which case another better-suited area if available is chosen - again, airmanship.
TelsBoy is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 4th Jul 2018, 11:41
  #4 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: UK
Age: 61
Posts: 120
I was taught in the same way as TelsBoy and one of the reasons for doing the power checks as close as possible to the hold is to check for oiled-up plugs which is not uncommon and which happened several times on the continental powered 172 I used to fly
golfbananajam is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 4th Jul 2018, 12:05
  #5 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Uk
Posts: 124
Originally Posted by gordonquinn View Post
I fly out of a big airport .....
IMO it doesn't have to be in a designated place as long as common sense and situational awareness is applied.
if there is a “designated area” it is there is for a reason and that is where they should be done..

Usually it it is a noise problem and has been designated after discussion and agreement with the locals.

So use the correct area in those circumstances.
3wheels is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 4th Jul 2018, 13:36
  #6 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Most likely a lower FL...
Posts: 61
Originally Posted by golfbananajam View Post
check for oiled-up plugs which is not uncommon and which happened several times on the continental powered 172 I used to fly
A good argument for proper leaning after starting the engine.

​​​​​​I second the statements regarding a proper or designated space. There are too many "drivers" around, that have no regard for the people and planes caught in the sand and pebblestorm their propwash causes.
tractorpuller is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 4th Jul 2018, 14:29
  #7 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Glasgow
Age: 28
Posts: 120
Originally Posted by 3wheels View Post


if there is a “designated area” it is there is for a reason and that is where they should be done..

Usually it it is a noise problem and has been designated after discussion and agreement with the locals.

So use the correct area in those circumstances.
Poor choice of words from me, what I meant to say was there isn't always going to be a designated area for power checks, and in which case good airmanship should be applied but if an area for powerchecks is defined then it should be followed.
gordonquinn is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 4th Jul 2018, 18:27
  #8 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: EBZH
Posts: 2,236
am I seeing a decrease in common sense
That is the main issue, I think, and it is quite general, in (private) flying and in other domains, in UK and everywhere. I am sure it is our own stupid fault to not have adapted aviation to the 21st century environment and mindset of smartphones and facebook. Even if only looking on from a distance, though, I cannot help thinking the loss of common sense and independent responsible thinking is especially dire in the UK.

That said: my own run-up checking is usually done during taxi, cutting one "magneto" then the other, and checking for the rpm drop to be obvious, and consistent between the two. Mind you, if the engine were running on three legs only or such. it would already have been obvious from the first instant. I particularly do not believe in the "into the wind" point, it has been in the theory books since Lilienthal's days but does it really make a difference? More important indeed to not disturb or annoy the nimby's, much less one's fellow aviators.

Last edited by Jan Olieslagers; 4th Jul 2018 at 19:05.
Jan Olieslagers is online now  
Reply With Quote
Old 4th Jul 2018, 18:54
  #9 (permalink)  
Moderator
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Ontario, Canada
Age: 57
Posts: 3,620
We had this very conversation this afternoon. The conscientious pilot who will fly us tomorrow on a test flight, expressed concern to me that a proper run up will be difficult, as the ramp really does not accommodate that well. We've done it before with great caution, but congestion, passing taxiing aircraft, and the prospect of noise make a ramp run up just seem thoughtless. This European airport only has one runway, and associated taxiway, so there is no out of the way place to practically taxi for a run up. I suggested that we take note of any other aircraft which might be departing, and let them go first if we can, then, with no one behind us (hopefully) on the taxiway, as ground for a delay on the taxiway, before we pull onto the runway. The pilot seemed reassured that this was a reasonable request. I'm confident that a ground controller will accommodate a delay, if we can find a way that it not inconvenience another flight.

For my choice, I will sometimes do a run up on the roll, if I'm comfortable in the aircraft. But, it is entirely fair that a pilot choose the confidence of stopping entirely if they want to apply their full attention to the aircraft systems. Though a long time ago, I devoted too much attention eyes in during a run up. I was running up a C310, and cautiously holding lots of brake pressure while I looked at the gauges. It had been a while since I'd flown it, so I was being thorough. I noticed in time, but none the less alarming, that the aircraft had been slowly sliding forward on the slightly snow covered pavement. No harm came, and I still had room to turn and taxi away, but I could have slid it off the edge onto the grass, had I not looked up. So, yes, lots of awareness for what's around you, and is something changing!
Pilot DAR is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 4th Jul 2018, 19:08
  #10 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Down at the sharp pointy end, where all the weather is made.
Age: 69
Posts: 1,325
Yes, we STILL teach power checks at the hold, parked into wind. If you do them xwind, you can hear the prop complaining about the different loads. If you do them downwind, then the rpm/power is going to give a different result from into wind. Occasionally, at a local airfield, we are asked to do power checks at the parking area, as there isn't a taxiway and defined hold. Just be careful about how you park to make sure your blast isn't going to damage anything. Another reason for parking into wind, too. You have to be ready to 'go' as soon as you leave parking to enter the runway.

The worst case of bad airmanship in this regard are those folk who think it's OK to enter the runway, then carry out their Vital Actions on the centreline. Very dangerous and selfish.

TOO
TheOddOne is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 5th Jul 2018, 06:57
  #11 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: 57 North
Posts: 51
One of my pet hates, those who seem to believe that whatever is behind them is not their concern. Doesn't have to be the power check, can as often be the 180 blast around in the slot in which they have chosen to park. Usually flyers of heavier, more powerful aircraft which just makes things worse for those around them. Inconsiderate oafs.
Chuck Glider is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 5th Jul 2018, 07:44
  #12 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: EGPX FIR
Posts: 116
Without turning this into a whinge-fest, power checks on a normal fixed-pitch prop aircraft is something that should only take a few seconds. Set RPM, check mags, carb heat, Ts & Ps, suction, ammeter, idle. I often see the checks getting made a meal of and the aircraft sitting revving away for a minute or more at the hold. What takes so long?
TelsBoy is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 5th Jul 2018, 08:34
  #13 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Mars
Posts: 63
Originally Posted by TelsBoy View Post
Without turning this into a whinge-fest, power checks on a normal fixed-pitch prop aircraft is something that should only take a few seconds. Set RPM, check mags, carb heat, Ts & Ps, suction, ammeter, idle. I often see the checks getting made a meal of and the aircraft sitting revving away for a minute or more at the hold. What takes so long?
Giving it a fair chance to stop or cough (if it's going to) would be my guess.
Lascaille is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 5th Jul 2018, 10:18
  #14 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: River Thames & Surrey
Age: 69
Posts: 7,404
Originally Posted by golfbananajam View Post
I was taught in the same way as TelsBoy and one of the reasons for doing the power checks as close as possible to the hold is to check for oiled-up plugs which is not uncommon and which happened several times on the continental powered 172 I used to fly
Also to clear any carb ice you've picked up whilst taxying; carb heat should be applied before (but not during) mag checks.

Last edited by chevvron; 10th Jul 2018 at 16:52.
chevvron is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 5th Jul 2018, 15:41
  #15 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: UK
Posts: 3,634
Originally Posted by Pilot DAR View Post
The pilot seemed reassured that this was a reasonable request. I'm confident that a ground controller will accommodate a delay, if we can find a way that it not inconvenience another flight.
In my experience (of busy European airports), provided you tell Ground at the outset that you'll need 3 minutes (or however long) for checks somewhere, they'll plan to accommodate it. But when their last 50 customers have been multicrew turbines who are almost always "ready-on-reaching", a quick reminder doesn't hurt.
bookworm is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 6th Jul 2018, 04:15
  #16 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: West Coast Canada
Posts: 3,091
On of my pet peeves is that most pilots don’t know what static RPM they should be seeing at the beginning of the takeoff run. For a fixed pitch prop aircraft this a vital last chance check to ensure the engine is making full power.
Big Pistons Forever is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 6th Jul 2018, 06:10
  #17 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Hong Kong
Posts: 288
Power checks are symptomatic of good airmanship and its a core principle of best practice. Once you have started your engine and allowed for warm up time, take note of its engine tone and temps and pressure at 1000rpm. If there is no dedicated and annotated power check position then proceed to the hold and align within 30 degrees of your head wind, taking note of who is behind who who MAY be behind you. By proceeding to the hold line and not turning, you are entering the blind spot where unless you have rear windows or a bubble canopy, you won't see who is behind. Good SA includes consideration of vehicles, (ops) and other aeroplanes. Before the power check commences, take note of the wind sock.. if there are gusts then they may be responsible for slight variations in RPM once you have set the higher engine manufacturer recommended power settings. If you are normally aspirated, and once temps and pressures are set, check your carb heat before those magnetos, so you can ensure that any mag drop is not down to icing and if necessary, repeat the carb check after the magneto check. Low RPM idle and recovery to 1000rpm should be smooth and you can take note of the audible engine tone you noted at engine start. Pre take off vitals must be done before Runway entry and that goes for the power checks too btw. Even if its the second or more sector of the day and confidence prevails in your engine, carrying out a mag or carb check on the roll is both poor airmanship and folly, since the roll is all about aircraft direction, airspeed increase and positive power settlement..NOT vital checks. Aborting a take off for something that should have been identified at the hold may well compromise traffic on short final, aircraft following and occupy runway time as you clear…so think AIRMANSHIP!!!…phew!
Pucka is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 9th Jul 2018, 18:26
  #18 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Barbados
Posts: 292
Take as long as you like in the runup area and taxi slowly - especially if there is a line of Boeings and Airbuses behind you
Ebbie 2003 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 9th Jul 2018, 20:47
  #19 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Cotswolds
Posts: 26
Without heading off at a tangent, when flying Tiger Moths we have to do the power checks at the start point - no brakes so chocks are required. Just means you have to make sure that you start-up in a considerate location/orientation.
Kemble Pitts is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 10th Jul 2018, 18:31
  #20 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: The World
Posts: 1,095
Training hasn't changed, but as all other rules - people increasingly tend to give a sh*it.

Run up checks at the ramp are real bad, usually for all people around and the neighbors as well. At large airports one often has the run up to be done at the hold, as there is noise from lift off anyways. At smaller airfields I often find rules for run up areas in the AIP or on the plates itself, where the noise abatement treaties between the field and village are documented. Some fields even do designated areas away from parking, taxi or runway.
ChickenHouse is offline  
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Privacy Statement Terms of Service